One of the most celebrated architectural thinking machines of recent years, Torafu Architects are showcasing an installation featuring their popular product designs over the month of February at Mr Kitly.

The renowned Japanese design and architecture studio unveil their new koloro series desk, dowel blocks and magnets for the very first time in Melbourne.

Founded in 2004 by Koichi Suzuno and Shinya Kamuro, Torafu Architects have built a reputation for innovative design that transfigures conventional notions of space and constantly pushes architectural boundaries. Trailed by a plethora of international awards and an exhaustive clientele (including Aesop, Hermes and Nike), their presence in Melbourne is warmly welcomed.

Working across all platforms, Torafu cover architectural design, interior design, exhibition space design, product design, spatial installations, stage design and filmmaking. Each discipline morphs into another so that large-scale residential structures echo the same concepts as smaller product designs.

Confounded by the void that exists between the living arrangements in Tokyo and Melbourne, Torafu’s design philosophy is driven by a shrewd fascination with the way people live, and the diverse spaces we inhabit. The densely populated Tokyo has forced this duo to render flexible, dynamic and minimalist spaces whilst protecting a conscious sense of unity. This means the design qualities are not necessarily lavish and expensive but instead conjured from a metaphor or design ideal.

Climb the nondescript staircase at Mr Kitly and stumble across this playful and interactive exhibition, where pragmatic and compartmentalised designs can be found and will jolt your thinking about time, objects and space.

Viewers can be immersed in a series of weightless paper vases that envelop the air – vacillating into various shapes, forms and colours. Korolo magnets are also featured, made from a polyester veneer of vivid colours and patterns-forming organic shapes and aesthetics with different colour combinations. Blocks joined by dowels are also included – fun and decorative plywood objects that can be joined to make various installations.

A multi-disciplinary workstation or desk made from plywood is also on display, with hidden openings and cut-outs that function as shelves – the perfect treasure hunt for children, with each corner injected with a distinct personality. The design contains an element of surprise, making it possible to change the scene according to the mood, whilst adhering to a sense of unity.

Photographs of works spanning the duo’s career are festooned on the walls by paper hooks, a design inspired by the characteristics of their distinctive tape hooks.

We can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to see Torafu display their talent and unique way of thinking in a larger scale. But this intimate exhibition is merely a brief insight into their practice and vouches to leave a long-lasting impression.

All of the Torafu Architects designs exhibited are for sale at Mr Kitly until February 24.

Torafu Architects Exhibition
Level 1, 381 Sydney Road Brunswick

Wed to Sat 11am–6pm
Sun 11am–4pm